Where students can get COVID tested


Isabella Bonilla

Students and their families must register beforehand to get COVID tested through the JCPS provided service.

Isabella Bonilla

JCPS is currently providing free COVID testing for all students, staff and families from 3-7 p.m. every Sunday-Thursday at over 50 select locations. A few locations, such as the mobile testing sites, may have different hours of operation. The public school system is partnering with SphereDX, an advanced clinical diagnostic lab, in order to provide these tests. All results are provided the same day the test was taken. 

Those interested must register online beforehand and provide an ID at the testing site. You must arrive for your test during the timeframe you signed up for and ensure you are in the line before the end of the time slot; otherwise, you must register for the next available date. 

Students may also get tested during the school day or after school for Test to Play policies or their own personal interests. Parents or students age 18 and older must sign a permission slip to participate in these school day tests. Parents can find instructions for finding and filling out  this permission slip here

Outside of JCPS, the city of Louisville itself also provides information on pop-up testing sites (which hold no out-of-pocket costs) and other COVID-19 testing sites such as local CVS, Walgreens, urgent care or other facilities (which typically require a fee). The city also has a Louisville Metro Covid-19 e-newsletter, for the latest news pertaining to the virus. 

Molecular (RT-PCR) tests (more commonly known as just PCR tests) and antigen tests (more commonly known as rapid tests) are the two types of diagnostic tests used to determine whether an individual has an active infection. PCRs detect the virus’s genetic material, while the rapid tests detect specific proteins on the surface of the virus.

It takes longer to get PCR test results back, but they tend to be more reliable in accurately detecting COVID-19. Rapid tests take less time to garner results and still have a great accuracy in detecting infection, but do have an increased chance of reporting false-negative results. This means that it’s possible an individual is infected but received a negative result.

Students and their families can opt for free testing at a variety of locations across the city, whether through JCPS or pop-up sites. CDC approved at-home tests and other testing facilities also provide the same services, although at a fee. Plentiful options are available across the city and students have resources at their disposal to get tested if they want or need to, one way or another.